23 March 2018Insurance

CEE focus boosts VIG 2017 results

Austria-based Vienna Insurance Group (VIG) has grown premiums and profit in 2017 driven by its focus on Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), according to a company statement.

The group’s pre-tax profit grew 8.8 percent year on year to around €443 million in 2017, primarily due to positive improvements in the combined ratio and an increase in the life insurance underwriting result in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Poland also recorded a large increase in profit, due in part to a stabilisation of the motor insurance business. The companies in the CEE region represented around 57 percent of VIG’s overall 2017 pre-tax profit.

VIG’s combined ratio improved to 96.7 percent in 2017 from 97.3 percent in 2016.

“Our success in 2017 was achieved by systematically pursuing our business strategy,” said general manager Elisabeth Stadler. “We were the first Austrian company to expand eastwards after 1989 and take advantage of the potential in Central and Eastern Europe. Now, when everyone is talking about the major economic opportunities available in the CEE economies, we already reap successes of our long-term strategy.”

The group’s premiums increased 3.7 percent year on year to around €9.4 billion in 2017. Growth rates were particularly high in Slovakia (+10.6 percent), Hungary (+10 percent), Bulgaria (+9.8 percent), Poland (+8.2 percent) and the Czech Republic (+4.9 percent).

VIG is moving forward the targets originally set for 2019 to 2018. The company now expects a premium volume of €9.5 billion in 2018, and a profit before taxes in the range of €450 to €470 million.

VIG aims to steadily increase its premium volume to more than €10 billion by 2020. Pre-tax profit is expected to exceed €500 million by 2020. The combined ratio has a target of around 95 percent by 2020.

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